Oscar-winning lyricist Gulzar, who is translating children's poems written by Rabindranath Tagore, says that readers in other vernacular languages are beginning to read the Nobel laureate's works.
The 75-year-old screenwriter and poet says that school syllabuses should be altered so that students are introduced to Tagore, whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated this year.
"Tagore is not limited to Geetanjali and is reaching out to readers in other vernacular languages too. I am translating Tagore's poems for children into Hindi and hope that it will be released within a year. High school students should be introduced to his works," Gulzar said in an interview.
"How long should students only read poets like Agyeya, Nirala and Mahadevi? The syllabus of colleges haven't changed much in the past 50-60 years and I strongly believe that students should know about Tagore, Firaq and many more litterateurs," he added.
Gulzar also said that instead of reading translated works of English poets, students should be familiarised more with Indian literature.
"Instead of reading the Hindi translation of Milton's Paradise Lost, our high school students should read Hindi translation of Yudhisthira...Draupadi from the Mahabharata."
Gulzar said he has published two books this year - Pandrah, Paanch, Pichattar and Yaar Julahe have been published. "How much more does a reader want from an author?"
When asked that very few new Ghazals are being written these days, Gulzar said, "Shahryar, Bashir Badr and Nida Fazli are writing Ghazals in the Urdu style. But the contemporary Ghazals have a modern flavour now."
Having edited Shahryar Suno, Gulzar said, "Shahryar writes Urdu shayari in a way which common people can understand. I feel people will talk about Urdu poetry once again now that Shahryar has won the Jnanpith award."